Philip G. Cornelius (1934- 2015) was born in Southern California, and studied at the California State University, San Jose (B.A., 1960). He earned a M.F.A. at the Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California, where he worked with Paul Soldner. He is known especially for his paper-thin porcelain teapots and vessels.
Talented in the visual arts since an early age, Cornelius originally chose science as a major in college because he thought art would be too easy. When he was drafted into the US army in the middle of his college career, he used his 18-month tour of Europe to reacquaint himself with art, visiting museums and galleries during his off-duty hours. Returning to San Jose State University for his final year of undergraduate work, he took a ceramics class and found the medium to be both inspiring and demanding. After studying at the Claremont Colleges with Paul Soldner, he embarked on his career as a ceramist, determined to constantly push his work to the limits. His pieces can now be seen in major museum collections throughout the United States and Europe such as Arizona State University Art Museum, Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York, French National Collection, Sevres, France, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mint Museum of Craft & Design, Charlotte, North Carolina, The Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art , Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan , Victoria and Albert Museum, London.